Filipino Professional: Mau Piodena – Filipino HMUA in Dubai

Tell us about yourself. Who are you, what do you do, and some general info (how long you’ve been in the country, where you came from originally, etc.)?

I am Mau Piodena, Ilonggo but born and raised in Mandaluyong City. I have been living and working in Dubai for 7 years (3 yrs full time as hair and make up artist). I used to work as a Business Analyst at a telephone company for 2 years and lastly before doing fulltime MUA, I was a logistics officer, handling and clearing local and international shipments.

Follow Mau on Instagram @maupiodena25

Tell us more about your job. What does it entail?

I’ve been working as a full-time freelance hair and make up artist for magazine, ad campaigns, movies, music videos, personal events, e-commerce, and local and international fashion shows. I’ve worked with labels like Chanel, YSL and Hermes to name a few, collaborated with artists, stylists and different production houses that create projects that get to billboards, print and digital media.

What’s a day in your life like? Please describe what you do on a typical working day.

On a busy day, I get up early to travel to different shoot locations. We prepare, sanitize and disinfect our equipment too. Upon arriving on set, we set up a makeup station with ring lights and chairs for the models, then we discuss with the project heads on how to achieve their goals. We then prep the model according to the looks needed, from hair to lip color and makeup changes as the shoot goes forward. After that’s done, we stay for the shoot to make sure the model looks best.

What are some of your career highlights? Anecdotes or memorable achievements you’d like to share.

Being able to see our works on billboards and magazines, being featured in local and international fashion shows and working with luxury brands are huge achievements for me. Among my greatest achievements, I flew to Milan and Paris Fashion week for Michael Cinco. I was also awarded by Xpat Insider as one of their Inspirational stories for migrant workers, and just recently awarded by TAG 91.1 as Favorite Pinoy Beauty Expert. I was also able to secure an accreditation in Paris France as MUA.

Are there any perks in your field/company?

One of the things that I get to experience, apart from getting discounted make up products, is that I get to travel, visit 5 star places and meet amazing people. There are shows that also give us products that surely would cost and arm and a leg. Also, features on TV, magazines and social media platforms that help us grow career wise.

What do you do to unwind and de-stress?

I’m a coffee lover and it’s something that I reward myself with to destress, so on a free day, I would check out Instagram-worthy coffee shops. I also like to go out of town and visit outdoorsy places like beaches. At times, I go to a spa and get a massage, and I even go SHOPPING!

What advice can you give to people in the field out there? Have you learned anything from your time as a career person? Do include a bit of your personal story if need be.

I bet in any industry, there will always be struggles and difficulties. I was once discriminated against and I even questioned myself if I could do it, not having any experience in the fashion industry since most of my jobs were weddings. Along the way we would meet different people with different point of views and perceptions of us. But one thing I’ve learned is that their words of doubts and actions of discrimination should never stop us from living our dreams. It’s rather a motivation for us to better ourselves and become more competent in this face-paced and challenging industry. As a make up artist, never be afraid of trying new things as long as it is within the looks being asked from us. Feel free to express your creativity and know your worth.

What’s your ultimate goal as a career person? What do you hope for in your career future?

It has always been my dream to work in Hollywood. I am soon taking a short course in London for special effects and with this I know I will be fewer steps away from it. As a makeup artist, my long-term goal is to put up my own brand and have my own make up school. I am learning from every project, so that in one way or another, I would be able to carry everything with me and share it with people when the right time comes.

Your message as a Filipino to all the kababayans across the globe.

We Filipinos are known for being hospitable and caring, but one thing I have learned during the Pandemic is that we Filipinos are Resilient. We always surpass expectations and survive situations with a smile on our faces.

Keep spreading this energy and outlook in life. We mirror positivity and creativity. Never give up on your dreams. You already have done it!